Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region
of Spain in the Spring for several weeks

'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

More scam calls - "Window Scrappage Scheme"

(Please see UPDATES at end)

I had a telephone call earlier today from what is almost certainly another of these scam outfits. The caller asked initially if he could speak to the "householder", I responded querying who was calling. The person (a Scottiah male voice, with a well-spoken Edinburgh-ish accent) said he was calling about the "Window Scrappage Scheme", which he said is currently available "in your area" - naturally he did not reveal which company or organisation he represented, a sure sign in my opinion that this is merely a commission agent touting for business either on behalf of the company he works for or for another company which had hired him to conduct cold-calling. On this occasion I asked him how he had obtained my telephone number, given that I have signed up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and he responded by blustering that it was an "official call". I then informed him that I had heard enough and was going to hang up, which I did. I then blocked future calls by adding the telephone number (see below) to my 'choose to refuse' list.

An internet search for the number (01968 458146) revealed it to be from the Penicuik area (this is just south of Edinburgh), and further research at one of the links provided by that search, http://www.411phonesearch.co.uk/01968458146-phone-number, revealed it is indeed a scam operation, with a number of very negative comments listed against it.

As I wrote in an earlier article last July, I think most sensible people can recognise this kind of call for what it is almost immediately, but some more gullible folks or perhaps some elderly folks with poor hearing might be fooled by these con-artists. So this is a further warning just to be careful and not to be drawn into a conversation with such people. I am never rude when I hang up, by the way, I always say something like "no thanks, goodbye" and hang up (although today I was perhaps slightly more abrupt, but certainly not rude), then block future calls if possible with my 'choose to refuse' access code. Job done!

PS/ Like many others, I subscribe to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which theoretically should stop cold-calls, but as has been mentioned recently in the media the rules are being flouted by some less-reputable (and some otherwise seemingly pretty reputable) outfits; 'choose to refuse' is a second line of defence for me which I began to use over 10 years ago.

UPDATE (Wednesday 28NOV2012 14.19 GMT) I have published a comment - see below - which may perhaps be of interest to some readers, although to be quite frank I am not entirely certain that this comment is not itself in the nature of 'spam', specially as the person writing me addresses me as "Trefor" - I have absolutely no idea where that comes from. In any case, if you want to follow this 'marketing' contact do so at your own peril - I shall certainly not be doing so myself. Depending on any feedback I get I may choose to remove said comment at any time.

2nd UPDATE (Wednesday 28NOV2012 14.38 GMT) I have now removed the comment referred to immediately above as some internet searches lead me to be certain that this is itself a scam outfit, seemingly operating out of a semi- in a street of semi-detached houses in Bradford and for which I have found rather too many negative comments. It may be helpful if others interested in leaving comments here read the 'Terms of Use' for this blog - there is a link near the top of the right-hand column.

3rd UPDATE (Wednesday 31JUL2013 20.00 BST) A short time ago, someone called "Andrew McCann" tried to post a comment here which I have not published. In his comment Mr McCann categorised me as "Some snobby old guy looking down on cold callers" and adding "these people work long hours for awful pay" and "Try being a cold caller earning less than minimum wage...". Well, Mr McCann, it is not my problem that people are BREAKING THE LAW by knowingly cold-calling people who have signed up to the TPS (as I have). Nor is it my problem that people are low paid, much as I may have sympathy with them. Nor am I in any way responsible, nor do I condone it if it is true, that companies employing these people are paying them "less than minimum wage" in contravention of the law. Naturally, Mr McCann, I have kept a copy of the email confirmation, sent to me by the blogging host, of your comment, for future reference. In summary, this comment is a joke and I am treating it as such. PS/ A 'Google' search for "Andrew McCann" naturally reveals many people with this name, but one seems to be closely connected with the 'cold-calling' sector. Nuff sed! PPS/ The IP address of the computer used to leave the comment is 31.220.240.3 with the ISP shown as "Cablecom Networking Limited", apparently from the Dundee area.

22 comments:

  1. I'm suddenly getting a lot of these calls. Had a couple of people round and one attempted a very hard sell, taking up far more time than he should and being quite difficult to get out of the house.
    However I am getting my windows replaced soon - by a small-scale local firm which isn't involved in scam schemes.

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  2. It is now interesting that thes companies (company) use the Unavailable type of calling , not Withheld, or Out of Area, I believe they are of internet driven numbers and untraceable, I take the chance on Unavailable and block them but Out of Area cuts out international calls or can do

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  3. These calls are driving me NUTS!! I have asked several times for my number to be removed from their calling list but it's obviously not working! Between "windows scrappage" and "replacement boilers" I'm about demented! I live in a multi-storey flat and don't own my own home, so I think the Housing Cooperative would take a very dim view of me scrapping their windows! With regards to the boilers, the person asked me if I was thinking of replacing my gas boiler. I told him "No" and he asked why, which I was happy to respond to with "Cos I live in an ALL-ELECTRIC FLAT". Fair enough - he did apologise but don't think my number has been removed from THAT list yet either. Oh - and I've been with the TPS for YEARS!

    BTW - what is "choose to refuse" please?

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  4. Sorry to hear you are having these problems too - at least I do own my own place and I do have gas, but as it is very modern the insulation levels are up to modern specifications and of course the windows are pretty new too. Extremely irritating to be pestered so often though ;)

    As for 'choose to refuse', it was offered to me some years ago by BT when I complained up the number of cold and silent calls I was getting. You need to ask the operator to add this service and they charge for it - I think it adds about £15 onto my bill whenever my statement comes through.

    Basically, they send you a confirmation letter with a code to punch in when you get an unwanted call - this then blocks that number from calling you again. The blocked numbers are on a rolling list of upto 10 numbers, after which the earliest blocked number is 'unblocked'. It works for landlines, mobile numbers, and very importantly also 'withheld' numbers (which a lot of these cold calls are. It does NOT however work with international numbers, which as I am sure you know (if you have 'caller display' - which I do) a lot of these cold callers including political parties canvassing for votes in my experience use as well.

    I hope this may help a little. Good luck :)

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  5. They're calling me about every half hour during the evening at the moment, Scottish accent if not Edinburgh, you can tell it's them from the first second of the call as the callcentre background is VERY noisy and distinctive. After the last two calls yesterday where I said the homeowner had been eaten by tigers then suggested that I would impart ANY information not in your or my lifetime they still called early this morning (and got fcuk all). Their usual threat to bombard with calls if I don't co-operate is hardly effective in this case since that's what they're doing at the moment, thoroughly deserving of a beating with a brine soaked knotted hemp rope.

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  6. Hello Bill Cameron

    I had a run of these calls back in November and in the end I said o.k. if you have workmen in this area, I'll see them tomorrow. An appointment was made and no-one showed up. (we live in a remote area of Skye). No more phone calls though until today when the caller said, "I'm calling about the windows scrappage scheme - and just want to make sure you are eligible" he then went on to start asking questions about our home such as: do you own your own home, how many windows do you have etc; I started asking a few questions of my own - specifically, a number to call them back with. The caller said that he was an outbound call centre and couldn't accept calls. I said, how do I know that you are a legitimate company, you could be anyone - we carried on in this vein for a few minutes until I got a number from him. This turned out to be a number for Weatherseal !!

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  7. I like your style, Skye ;)

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  8. Been bombarded with calls re the window scrappage scheme in Aberdeen over the last few months despite us being registered with the TPS and having an Ex-Dir number, interesting that they always ask for the homeowner with my wifes maiden name. We have been married 10 years. The only utility account ever set up in my wifes maiden name was the BT one! I wonder how our Ex directory number has made on to these cold-call lists?

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  9. Just off the phone to these people after asking that my details be removed. Lothian Research and based in Dundee (He's calling from) according to the bloke. I note the number he called on was 01415 309 361 which is a Glasgow number. TPS complaint made.

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  10. Someone called "Daniel Dean" has tried to post two comments here today; both have been rejected as spam, because they contained links to commercial websites, services he is presumably trying to publicise . Please read the "Terms of Use" for this website - there is a link near the top right of this page. Thank you.

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  11. Incidentally, regarding my previous comments about "Daniel Dean", I have just been viewing my site visitor statistics and see that the IP (203.170.79.26) of the originating computer for both comments is apparently in Karachi, Pakistan - so probably some kind of spam 'phishing' outfit.

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  12. It is Penicuik Windows who are calling. I had them today and managed to get it out of the caller.

    They are a nuisance.

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  13. Hi Jane,

    Indeed they are nuisance, wherever they are from. By the way, I clicked through to your blog and found it quite interersting - the bluebells look lovely - so have added it to my Feedly reader so I can occasionally look in as you add new entries.

    Kind regards
    Bill
    (PS/ this is one of the most-visited articles in my blog since I started to write it in April 2002, so it is remarkable how it has struck a chord with so many people.)

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  14. Windows Scrappage Scheme cold called today on International number. Telephone monkey stated they were Greener Future. Kidded on I was interested so as to find out what company was actually behind this. A short time later another call received on Withheld number. Person stated Weatherseal or St Andrews Glass were operating in my area. I informed her that I had been plagued by similar calls and I was registered with TPS and that if I received any further calls I would string them along to get the salesperson out to my door and tell him/her to their face not to call again.

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  15. Weatherseal.co.uk and its sister companies named above are one the worst offenders for cold calling people registered with the Telephone Preference Service. It does not matter if you warn their call centre operatives not to call again. After a few weeks the withheld numbers start ringing again. Their usual ploy is to ask if you have received their £500 discount voucher through the post. Of course you haven’t because it was never sent in the first place. They are using this con trick to gain access into your home and sell you double glazing and the like.

    Don’t be fooled by the call centre tricksters.

    In my instance I report them to ico.org.uk

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  16. Useful website Allan A - thanks for including it in your message. Although I had often heard this organisation mentioned before, I was not aware of the website URL so have added it to my browser bookmarks.

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  17. I am registered with TPS but still get regular cold calls from both humans and automated systems. My latest approach is to tell the first caller I am interested and then when they call back to arrange a visit, explain that I'm nervous about answering the door to strangers and ask if the caller will show id. They say yes of course so I then ask the name of the person and company "just so I know it's them". Once they tell me that I explain politely that I've just been trying to get these calls to stop and I now have the details I need to report them. I add that I'm sorry I've had to waste their time, but if they cold call again I'll allow them to come to the house before I reveal this.
    You can then look up the company and use those details to report them formally to TPS. (Google "TPS complaint form").
    Please be polite throughout: In their eyes, you become fair game for anything as soon as you become abusive, and remember they know where you live.

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  18. Thanks for your comment ArgyEll. I am always polite when responding to cold calls, however nor do I waste too much time on them - I normally hang up fairly quickly, but politely - then I block them using my 'choose to refuse' service; as a result I now receive many fewer calls than formerly and those few I do receive I do not allow to upset me in any way. Life is far too short ;)

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  19. Repeated automated calls received. "Windows Scrappage Scheme". Hanging up immediately still doesn't clear line! Option to be removed from calling list doesn't have any effect. I selected callback option and was phoned by Penicuik. (CLI 0203 1988100). When I advised them that I was registered by TPS the caller was disconnected midway through his apology - presumably by a supervisor who was monitoring the call. Full details reported to TPS.

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  20. Most irritating I agree. I have been receiving calls recently from what are obviously "disguised" numbers, seemingly abroad, but in reality in this country. Also in the last few days calls from what appear to be completely false overseas disguised numbers, still they all get blocked using my 'choose to refuse' service.

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  21. We have been getting these nonsense windows recycling calls by both machine and young people, I lost it yesterday and gave both barrels to a scouse sounding woman who gave it back. Number was shown as international.

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Welcome to my comment area. Whilst all comment is welcome you are requested to respect the views of others. To read full terms for use of this facility, please visit my 'Terms of Use' section, linked to under the 'About this Blog' heading at top right of the blog. Note added 12JUL2010 - All comments will now be pre-moderated before they appear in this blog; this is a measure to prevent 'spam' commenting, which has become frequent of late. Thank you.